We quite often hear of, or get told of women who are discouraged from breastfeeding their babies, because Daddy wants to bond with the baby too. As silly as this may sound to some, in some families, this is a legitimate concern. Especially so for the mother who already has a great breastfeeding relationship established. As nursing mothers, we know that breastfeeding does give us great bonding time. We also know that feeding isn’t the only time we bond with our babies. Any time spent with your baby, giving him attention, is bonding time.
As soon as your baby is born, both Mum and Dad, can start to bond. After baby has had skin to skin contact with mum, and her first breastfeed, baby can then be handed to Dad for his own skin to skin contact with baby. When you get home with baby (if you had a hospital birth), Daddy can take baby after each feed, to burp and cuddle. In fact, my husband was better at burping our newborn then I was!
Daddy holding his bundled newbie.
Many Dads find that their special time with baby, is bath time. This is especially nice for Dad’s who work away from home all day. Dad gets home, has a bite to eat, and gives baby her bath (also a welcome break for mum).
Most families will have already invested in some form of baby carrier or wrap. Consider the investment if not. Dad’s can babywear as much as Mum can, around the house, out shopping, running errands.
Don't mind the expressions, it was bright and baby was tired.
If Dad does feel as though he’s missing out or feeling left out by not being able to feed baby. He can be in charge of bringing baby to mum to feed and taking baby back when the feed is finished - many a mother would be grateful that Daddy is getting up 4 times a night too.
Reading to your baby can never start too early. Daddy can read to baby from the day of his birth, be it a newspaper or a child’s picture book, it doesn’t matter the material, baby will enjoy listening to the rise and fall of Daddy’s voice and the time Daddy has taken to spend with them.
Dad’s can take the baby at anytime day or night, to cuddle,lay down on the bed with,talk to, or watch football with. Anytime spent with Daddy is special time.
Personally I have breastfed all of my babies, Daddy has never suffered neglect from the kiddies. He’ll walk the floors with a gassy baby, cuddle the baby while watching footy, take them shopping, take them to the park, fall asleep with them - any number of things. His relationship with the kids has always been great. Not because he’s got boobs to feed them with, but because he’s always spent time with them and included them in his everyday activities. Whether they’re 3 days or 3 years old. And now that the bigger kiddies are getting older, Daddy has a line of them following him around the yard like a row of ducklings, while he works or takes them out to play.
If you can think of an activity that Daddy and baby can do together, they will bond. All of these suggestions work just as well for Grandma's and Grandpa's, Aunts and Uncles, and Friends as well!
What activities did your hubbies enjoy doing with your baby? Did they feel like they bonded well with the baby?